WikiLeaks, the entity responsible for exposing international government secrets, has also reportedly been exposing the private details of innocent and vulnerable people whose lives are potentially at stake. The Associated Press reports that along with closely held government information from all over the world, WikiLeaks has also been dumping personal information about people who include the mentally ill, sick minors, teenage rape survivors, and LGBTQ individuals who live in regions where it is a crime to be gay or trans.
The AP further reports that the information of hundreds of innocent civilians that WikiLeaks has revealed includes medical files and contact information. WikiLeaks reportedly released the results of a paternity test between a married Saudi man and a former partner as well as his contact information and other details. The man told the AP,
They published everything: my phone, address, name, details. If the family of my wife saw this ... Publishing personal stuff like that could destroy people.
The AP also found that WikiLeaks had published identifying information of a gay Saudi man who was arrested for being gay, an especially egregious oversight on the part of WikiLeaks, given that homosexuality can be punished with the death penalty in Saudi Arabia.
In their reporting on private citizens whose personal information, the AP was in touch with 23 people, mostly in Saudi Arabia, whose information had been published on WikiLeaks. Because WikiLeaks is censored in Saudi Arabia, some of the people were not aware that their information had been exposed online. The AP reported that reactions varied between ambivalence and high levels of concern.
WikiLeaks has also been criticized recently for dumping the personal information of donors when it revealed internal emails from Democratic National Committee members in July, leaving many of those exposed vulnerable to identify theft and fraud.